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Curry Named Local Governor of National Doctors’ Group

Curry Named Local Governor of National Doctors’ Group

BIRMINGHAM — William A. Curry, M.D., has been named governor of the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Physicians, the national organization of internists. Dr. Curry is a professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and associate dean for Primary Care and Rural Health at the UAB School of Medicine.

The Board of Governors is an advisory board to the ACP Board of Regents, and implements national projects in addition to representing members at the national level. Dr. Curry’s term began during the Internal Medicine Meeting 2019, ACP’s annual scientific meeting held in Philadelphia from April 11-13.

A resident of Birmingham, Dr. Curry earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt University and became a master of ACP in 2017. Election to mastership recognizes outstanding and extraordinary career accomplishments.

Governors are elected by local ACP members and serve four-year terms. Working with a local council, they supervise ACP chapter activities, appoint members to local committees and preside at regional meetings. They also represent members by serving on the ACP Board of Governors.

Within the Alabama Chapter of ACP, Dr. Curry has served on the Chapter Council and Awards Committee, which he also chaired.

Dr. Curry is a past president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama and has been a member of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and the Alabama State Committee of Public Health.

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Meet Our New Board Members

Meet Our New Board Members

Alexis T. Mason, M.D.
Secretary-Treasurer

Alexis T. Mason, M.D., is a native of Town Creek, Ala., and was elected Secretary-Treasurer during the Association’s Annual Meeting in April. It was a lawnmower accident when she was just 3 years old, which nearly took a limb and ended her life, that led her to her life’s calling of practicing medicine.

A graduate of Alabama A&M University, Dr. Mason went on to the Rural Medical Scholars Program at the University of Alabama where she received her Masters in Human and Environmental Science in 2008, which propelled her into the University of Alabama School of Medicine where she received her medical degree in 2012. She completed her residency at the University of Tennessee Family Medicine program in Jackson, Tenn., and her fellowship in Behavioral Medicine at the University of Alabama.

She is now practicing in Gordo, AL with Whatley Health Services as well as assisting with the SMART Clinic in Aliceville, Ala. After only two years in rural practice, she has become a favored preceptor for students entering the rural medicine pipeline and active in the AAFP.

 

Jane A. Weida, M.D., FAAFP
7th District Censor

Dr. Jane Weida is an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and associate director of the College’s Family Medicine Residency. She received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and completed her family medicine residency at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia. After 13 years in private practice in Blue Bell, Pa., she spent six years as faculty at Penn State College of Medicine before joining an affiliated community-based family medicine residency in West Reading, Pa. There, she taught residents and medical students and served as the medical director, clerkship director and co-director of the residency’s Global Health Track.

Dr. Weida is active in several professional organizations. She is the immediate past president of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, where she developed the organization’s signature humanitarian program in Haiti. She is committed to residency education, medical student interest in family medicine, and global health and has traveled extensively to provide family medicine education in Haiti and many former Soviet Republics in Asia and Europe.

 

Jay Suggs, M.D.
Place No. 5 Representative

When Alabama native, W. Jay Suggs, M.D., FACS, FASMBS, returned home after his general surgery training at the Mayo Clinic and bariatric surgery fellowship at Princeton, NJ, he started his first bariatric surgery Center of Excellence in Decatur. He also practices in Huntsville and Madison. Dr. Suggs is a board-certified surgeon and is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He has degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Emory University and his medical degree from UAB. Dr. Suggs, together with his wife and three daughters, live in Decatur where they are an active part of their community.

Dr. Suggs has special interests in medical education and research, serving as an associate professor of surgery at the UAB Huntsville Regional Campus, as well as the director for the Huntsville campus of the ACOM and VCOM-Auburn medical schools. He has been involved in the leadership of multiple professional organizations and hospitals.

 

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Centreville Physician Named President of the Medical Association

Centreville Physician Named President of the Medical Association

BIRMINGHAM – Long-time Centreville physician, John S. Meigs Jr., M.D., was named president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama during the Association’s Annual Meeting and Business Session last week. Dr. Meigs also serves on the board for the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners.

“The Association welcomes Dr. Meigs’ continued service on the Board of Censors as president,” Executive Director Mark Jackson said. “His medical experience, as well as his civic-mindedness and sense of compassion brings a strong perspective to the Board. It is a genuine pleasure to work with such a leader in the medical community.”

Dr. Meigs received his medical degree from the University of South Alabama and completed his internship and residency in family medicine with UAB/Selma Family Practice Residency Program.

He is a Diplomate with the American Board of Family Medicine. He is also a past president and former board chair of the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians; a Fellow, former Speaker, a past president and immediate past board chair with the American Academy of Family Physicians, and member of the American Medical Association. With the Medical Association, Dr. Meigs has served as a Delegate, Counselor, Life Counselor, Speaker of the House of Delegates, Board of Censors and on numerous committees. From 2009 to 2018 he served on the State Committee of Public Health and was their Chair his last four years.

In 2014, Dr. Meigs received the high honor of being elected to the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame, which recognizes those persons who have made outstanding contributions to or rendered exemplary service for health care in the State of Alabama.

Dedicated to giving back to his community, Dr. Meigs has served as a clinical professor at The University of Alabama College of Community and Health Science and a clinical professor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Medicine. He is currently a member of the clinical faculty of the Cahaba Family Medicine Residency Program in Centreville. Additionally, he was named 2004 Bibb County Citizen of the Year by the Kiwanis Club. He has also served as President of Distinguished Young Women of Bibb County and is an active member of Brent Baptist Church where he serves as Moderator and as a deacon.

Dr. Meigs has been a member of the Bibb County Medical Society and the Medical Association since 1982.  He has been on the active medical staff of Bibb Medical Center since 1982.  His practice of Family Medicine continues with Bibb Medical Associates in Centreville.

 

Meet the 2019-2020 Board Officers and Board of Censors

  • John S. Meigs, Jr., M.D., President
  • Aruna Thotakura Arora, M.D., President-Elect
  • Jefferson Underwood, III, M.D., Immediate Past President
  • Amanda Williams, M.D., Vice President
  • Alexis T. Mason, M.D., Secretary-Treasurer
  • Julia L. Boothe, M.D., Speaker
  • Thomas James Weida, M.D., Vice-Speaker
  • Mark H. LeQuire, M.D., Board Chairman, At-Large Place No. 1
  • Michael T. Flanagan, M.D., Board Vice Chairman, 2nd District Censor
  • Max Rogers, M.D., 1st District Censor
  • Gary F. Leung, M.D., 3rd District Censor
  • Dick Owens, M.D., 4th District Censor
  • Patrick J. O’Neill, M.D., 5th District Censor
  • Eli L. Brown, M.D., 6th District Censor
  • Jane A. Weida, M.D., FAAFP, 7th District Censor
  • Beverly F. Jordan, M.D., At-Large Place No. 2
  • Hernando D. Carter, M.D., At-Large Place No. 3
  • Gregory Wayne Ayers, M.D., At-Large Place No. 4
  • William Jay Suggs, At-Large Place No. 5

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Underwood Minority Scholarship Award Announced

Underwood Minority Scholarship Award Announced

MONTGOMERY — The Underwood Minority Scholarship Award was officially announced during the Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Business Session. Named for long-time Montgomery physician and the Medical Association’s 152nd President Jefferson Underwood III, M.D., the Underwood Minority Scholarship Award is for African-American individuals underrepresented in Alabama’s medical schools and the state’s physician workforce.

Dr. Underwood became the first African-American male to serve as President of the Association in 2018-2019. He previously served the Association as President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer and Vice President. He is also a member of the Montgomery County Medical Society, in which he also served on the Board of Trustees and as President.

  • Applicants must be African American.
  • Students already attending medical and osteopathic school or who have been accepted are eligible.
  • One scholarship will be awarded annually.
  • Fundraising efforts will be the responsibility of the Medical Foundation of Alabama
  • The scholarship presentation will take place at the Medical Association’s Annual Meeting.
  • The Board of Medical Scholarship Awards will make recommendations to the Medical Association for potential recipients.
  • 2020 scholarship applications will become available in Fall 2019.

For more information, contact Mark Jackson at mjackson@alamedical.org.

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Could Employee Engagement be a Cultural Decision?

Could Employee Engagement be a Cultural Decision?

As the Baby Boomers retire and Millennials join the workforce, managers find themselves with a new challenge in engaging the staff. The baby boomers did not mind following strict rules, nor did they require a daily pat on the back. Most employees need more than just a task list. They need to feel valued, informed and engaged. Physician leaders and administrators can engage the staff more effectively if they are modeling a positive culture based on a mission statement, values and communicating goals. Behavior modeling creates a sense of trust and engagement in the staff that improves morale and retention. High turnover in a medical practice is stressful for everyone; the remaining staff must take on more work and re-train staff over, and over again. High staff turnover is costly – the time to interview, onboard staff and train staff reduces productivity, and it is a definite sign there is something wrong at the leadership level.

Most physicians are experiencing “burnout” due to challenges in health care and increasing patient volume. In past years, a group practice was led by a physician who was interested in the business of medicine; the others in the group simply supported the ideals of the lead physician. Physician and administrator relationships are the basis for building a positive culture. The physicians and the administrator should meet often. All physicians should be involved in business decisions and develop leadership styles to enhance a positive culture. New physicians have skills in technical aspects of practice management and can serve as a champion to guide new projects. An administrator skilled in communication and empowerment can engage staff and grow leaders. Practice administrators learn what motivates each employee, and they can influence the entire team by assuring conflict is avoided or resolved. An effective administrator assures the office is running smoothly and leads by example. The administrator is a coach in every sense; he or she impacts the physician leaders, the staff and the patients. An effective administrator seeks opportunities to build morale by celebrating work milestones, birthdays, or even organizing a company picnic.

Engaged employees contribute to the organization’s effectiveness. An engaged employee feels passionate about the job and is loyal to the practice. If an employee is emotionally committed to the practice, he or she is more committed to the goals of the practice. A workplace that encourages idea sharing and personal value will give leaders and employees a sense of purpose and belonging, which leads to empowerment. An engaged employee will be an advocate for the practice, they speak positively about their work and encourage others to be a part of the organization. As we invest in our employees and overall culture, we raise the level of expertise and strength. As the team grows stronger, the projects are successful and seamless because the administrator and the physicians can work at a higher level.

A positive culture shows in every aspect of the practice; the efficiency and cheerfulness of the staff and the overall experience of the patient. I spoke recently during a group staff meeting on patient satisfaction. We discussed body language, a patient can detect when a staff member does not care or is not happy with their job. The patient experience relies upon an engaged staff member. We discussed companies who have an exceptionally positive culture that is ‘’caught” not “taught.” A positive culture starts at the top and trickles down to everyone!

Article contributed by Tammie Lunceford, Healthcare and Dental Consultant, Warren Averett Healthcare Consulting Group. Warren Averett is an official Gold Partner with the Medical Association.

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Caring for Alabama: Celebrating the Fourth Annual Doctors’ Day in Alabama

Caring for Alabama: Celebrating the Fourth Annual Doctors’ Day in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – On Wednesday, March 27, Gov. Kay Ivey signed a proclamation declaring March 30, 2019, the Fourth Annual Doctors’ Day in Alabama. Doctors’ Day in Alabama formally recognizes Alabama’s nearly 17,000 licensed physicians serving millions of residents through private practice, in hospitals, in research, and in other health care facilities while performing their roles as military service members, parents, volunteers, and community activists.

Doctors’ Day in Alabama, a project sponsored by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Hospital Association will be held in conjunction with the 86th Anniversary of National Doctors’ Day to celebrate physicians of all specialties serving in our communities.

“The practice of medicine is a special calling,” said Mark Jackson, executive director of the Medical Association. “Physicians study and train for many years, work long and unpredictable hours, and cope with often conflicting demands of work and family life to serve the needs of their communities. They often lead patients and families through some of life’s most challenging moments,” Jackson said. “While they deserve appreciation every day, we wanted to have one day to show deep gratitude to our physicians for the work they do each day to make the health of our residents and our state better.”

While first contributing to the overall health of their patients through healing, Alabama’s physicians also contribute to the overall health of the state through economic factors. According to a study by the American Medical Association, each Alabama physician supports an average of 11.7 jobs – contributing to 101,770 jobs statewide – for an average of $1.9 million in positive economic input and a total of $16.7 billion in economic impact statewide.

“Alabama’s hospitals are honored to partner with dedicated physicians who provide strong and essential leadership in hospitals to assure patients receive high-quality care,” said Donald E. Williamson, M.D., president of the Alabama Hospital Association. “These men and women are committed to practicing the latest evidence-based care to deliver the best possible outcomes for patients. We are delighted to celebrate them on Doctor’s Day.”

For more information about Doctors’ Day in Alabama, contact Lori M. Quiller, APR, at (334) 538-0235, (334) 954-2580 or lquiller@alamedical.org.

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VCOM-Auburn Provides Care and Supplies to Lee County Tornado Victims

VCOM-Auburn Provides Care and Supplies to Lee County Tornado Victims

BEAUREGARD – Faculty, students and staff at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine Auburn campus have been working to provide free medical care and supplies to neighboring Beauregard, Alabama area tornado victims. Following the devastating tornado outbreak on Sunday, March 3, VCOM-Auburn administrators worked quickly with community partners to devise a plan to try to assist storm victims. A supply drive was held, which saw donations of bottled water, sports drinks, personal care items, baby care supplies, non-perishable food, first-aid supplies and more.

“What VCOM is doing for the local community is exactly what we strive to do as future physicians — giving our time and knowledge for those in need,” said Tram-Anh Huynh, a second-year student at VCOM-Auburn. “I am really proud to be part of a community that jumped in without hesitation to help the Lee County tornado victims.”

On Monday morning, a tent was erected at Beauregard Drugs and Dr. Martin Roach’s Beauregard Clinic to provide free-of-charge, non-life-threatening medical care to storm victims and rescue and recovery personnel. A pull-type RV trailer was loaned to the effort, which has offered welcome shelter from the cold wind and a place to store relief supplies for distribution. Physicians and students from VCOM have staffed the tent each day from morning until evening.

On Wednesday, March 6, Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital joined the effort by arriving on scene with a mobile triage unit. This unit, essentially an RV-type vehicle, offers two patient care rooms in a spacious, climate-controlled environment. Medical professionals from Piedmont Columbus Regional have committed to be on site at least through the weekend.

“We are extremely grateful for the cooperation and partnership with Beauregard Drugs, Beauregard Medical Clinic, the Piedmont Columbus Regional mobile unit and Providence Baptist Church,” said J.J. White, D.O., PhD, VCOM-Auburn’s associate dean for simulation and technology, discipline chair for emergency medicine and the College’s disaster response leader for this effort. “We are amazed by the outpouring of support by the entire community and hope to be flexible, adaptable and productive with our relief efforts.”

On Thursday, March 7, the Piedmont Columbus Regional mobile unit, along with the VCOM relief tent and trailer, moved 1.5 miles to Providence Baptist Church at the request of the incident commander. This new location has become the focus of the volunteer efforts for the community. VCOM physicians and students plan to remain at this new location through the weekend.

“Our involvement with relief efforts began the night of the storms treating patients in the emergency department at East Alabama Medical Center,” said VCOM-Auburn fourth-year student Gunnar Magnuson. “Consistently, we have been very encouraged at the overwhelming number of individuals and local health institutions like VCOM-Auburn and its partners looking to help their neighbors in any way they can.”

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In Memoriam: John Higginbotham, M.D.

In Memoriam: John Higginbotham, M.D.

John Higginbotham, M.D., a longtime member of the Medical Association and Madison County Medical Society, passed away earlier this week. Dr. Higginbotham was a retired orthopaedic surgeon and who was instrumental in the formation of the North Alabama Medical Reserve Corps. In 2014 he received the Association’s highest award, the Samuel Buford Word Award, which is given in recognition of service to humanity beyond the usual scope of medical practice and often rendered at some personal sacrifice.

He served as medical director of the Metropolitan Medical Response System and as county disaster liaison for the Madison County Medical Society (MCMS) and was a member of the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Advisory Council on Emergency Preparedness. Despite retirement, Dr. Higginbotham continued to serve on the boards of MCMS and NAMRC.

Dr. Higginbotham was 75 when he died Tuesday. A celebration of his life will be held Saturday from 4-8 p.m. at Laughlin Service Funeral Home in Huntsville and March 15 at 11 a.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Guntersville.

Surgeon and Christmas Star: Remembering Dr. John Higginbotham

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In Memoriam: Patrick Burrus Jones, M.D.

In Memoriam: Patrick Burrus Jones, M.D.

Patrick Burrus Jones, M.D., of Dothan died peacefully at home on Jan. 15, 2019, with his family at his side. He was 84.

Dr. Jones was born in Dothan on Sept. 11, 1934, the only child Reba Pilcher Jones of Dothan, and Patrick B. Jones of Columbus, GA. He graduated from Dothan High School in 1952 and earned his B.S. from the University of Alabama in 1955, with memberships in Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Nu social fraternity. He graduated first in his class in 1957 from the University of Alabama School of Medicine, as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society.

After interning at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver, CO, for the Air Force, he served three years on active duty as an obstetrician in Goldsboro, NC, where he delivered more than a thousand babies. Planning for an academic career, Dr. Jones returned to the University of Alabama Birmingham for training in anatomical pathology. In 1966, he returned to Dothan with his young family to start an independent laboratory with Frank G. Stephens, serving a 75-mile radius in the tri-state area until his retirement in 2006.

In his 40-year career, Dr. Jones served on the Medical Association of the State of Alabama Board of Censors, the State Committee of Public Health, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners (1984-1994), Chief of Staff for Southeast Alabama Medical Center, President of the Houston County Medical Society, and President of the Alabama Association of Pathologists.

He also served as President of the Historic South Inlet Beach Neighborhood Association and on the Board of Directors for Inlet Beach Water System, Inc., in Walton County, FL. Dr. Jones’ principal hobby was golf, but he also enjoyed travelling. He loved poetry and reading history, biography and religious material. A lifelong evangelical Christian, he helped establish Grace Anglican Mission Church in Dothan, Apostles-by-the-Sea in Rosemary Beach, FL and Christ Anglican Church in Cashiers, NC.

Dr. Jones is survived by his wife of 61 years, Nancy Rodenbough Jones, and their three children, Patrick Burrus Jones III (Darlene), Shannon Jones Russell (Bruce) and Thomas Rodenbough Jones (Theresa) and seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Saturday in the Sunset Funeral Home Chapel, 1700 Barrington Road with the Reverends John Wallace and Clark Cornelius officiating. Visitation begins at 1 p.m. at the funeral home before the 2 p.m. service. Interment will follow at Dothan City Cemetery.

The family would like to thank the staff of Covenant Care Hospice and Barbara Jean Harper for compassionate care during his terminal illness. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Apostles by-the-Sea, PO Box 611-151, Rosemary Beach, FL 32461 (memo: Hurricane Relief) or to Grace Anglican Church, 113 Gloster Ct., Dothan, AL 36303. Robert Byrd of Sunset Memorial Park Funeral Home (334) 983-6604

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In Memoriam: Emmett “Lee” Taylor Jr., M.D., 1938-2018

In Memoriam: Emmett “Lee” Taylor Jr., M.D., 1938-2018

SPANISH FORT — Emmett Lee Taylor, Jr. (“Lee”), a resident of Spanish Fort, AL, passed away on Dec. 12, 2018, surrounded by his loving family.

Lee was born in Sheffield, AL, on Dec. 10, 1938. He was a retired U.S. Navy captain, physician, and educator who devoted his professional life to his patients in private practice and later to the training and education of medical students and Navy medical officers. Lee was a lifelong mentor to many aspiring and successful physicians, and he was committed to improving access to primary care, especially in rural communities. He valued hard work, family, service, and duty to God and country, and passed these values on to his beloved children.

Lee graduated from Florence State College (now The University of North Alabama) in 1963 and received his medical degree from the University of Alabama in 1967. He completed 27 years of honorable military service, spanning three branches of the Armed Forces: the U.S. Air Force, Army National Guard (AL), and U.S. Navy Medical Corps, from which he retired as a captain in 1993.

After medical school, Lee started a private practice in the foothills of the Appalachians and later practiced in Richmond, VA. During his distinguished career, Dr. Taylor went on to lead the Department of Family Medicine at Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL, was the Director of Navy Medical Education programs in Washington, D.C., and served as Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. He later served as Associate Dean of the Amarillo campus of Texas Tech School of Medicine and finished his career as the Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.

He has received numerous honors and awards, including two Presidential Meritorious Service Medals and two Navy Commendation Medals. He also received the American Academy of Family Physicians Award of Merit for his contributions to American medicine. Lee was especially proud to be recognized as Teacher of the Year by his 2003 class of family medicine residents at the University of South Alabama.  He was named 2001 University of North Alabama Alumnus of the Year. And in 2008, he was appointed by Governor Bob Riley to the Alabama Family Practice Rural Health Board, serving until his death.

Lee was active in his church and enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren at the family’s lake house.  He was a loyal and loving husband to his wife, Dianne. He enjoyed fishing and was an avid golfer.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Emmett Lee and Eleanor McDaniel Taylor, and his infant daughter, Donna Lynn Taylor.  He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Dianne White Taylor, of Bay Minette, AL; son David Lee (Kerri) Taylor of Kennesaw, GA; daughter Kaye Taylor (Jerry) Balentine of Florence, AL; son Michael Edison Taylor of Savannah, GA; son Bryan McDaniel (Jessica) Taylor of Prattville, AL; and 13 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren who will always remember him affectionately as “Papa Lee.”

A service in celebration of Lee’s life will be held at 1:00 pm on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, at Providence United Methodist Church in Spanish Fort, AL. The family will receive friends prior to the service starting at 12:00 pm. Following the service, military funeral honors will be rendered at a brief service at the Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Spanish Fort.  The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to The Salvation Army or Providence United Methodist Church of Spanish Fort. Expressions of condolence may be offered at www.hughesfh.com. Hughes Funeral Home in Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.

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